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Planning for a long trip in a teardrop and planning for a weekend away are, well, two different things.

We prepped to go on a longer trip away this summer, with two weeks on the road. It’s going to be our typical camp, hike, bike and kayak type of trip. But we’re planning for a little bit of a “low-key” trip since we think we’ll encounter a bit of rain and we really want to balance the ACTIVE with some R&R. It’s five campgrounds in that time, so we’ll have a bit of time and space to settle in a few different places along the way.


We are dealing with several spots that won’t have power and water and we planned for one in the middle that will.  That will give us a chance to recharge after we wear down the camper battery with the lights and fan running and charging our phones and iPads. We’ve also got our big battery and our solar charger for the devices so that we can try to keep up with device power without having to run down the camper. We’re usually good for 4 days or so off the grid and can go longer if it is cool enough to not have to use the camper fan to stay cool at night.


Two weeks (sometimes more) out from a long trip, we start thinking about preparations in a little bit of a different way from what we might if we were just going for a weekend.


  • What did we learn from the season shake-out that we haven’t acted on yet?
  • Does the car need to be tuned up?
  • Do we need to dig out the big solar panel to take along?
  • Are these REALLY the chairs we want to take with us?
  • Do we have plenty of spare bedding if we need it?
  • Is all the bedding clean and what level of blankets do we want to start with?
  • Are we going to see enough rain to want to take along both rain shelters?
  • Are all the reservations in order?
  • Do we want to swap anything around with the schedule?
  • Do we have a cat/house sitter ready to go?
  • Have we stocked up on Honey Stingers, Thermacell refills, camp fuel, fire starters, camp matches and other things that might be hard to acquire en route?
  • Do we have enough spices and plenty of wine to take?
  • Have we restocked the things like trash bags and baggies to ensure we have enough?
  • How are we planning to deal with the pack camper/pack car divide of gear?
  • How much clothing will we need and for what temperature range?


There are also a lot of dependencies for how readily things can be acquired where we are going. When we are headed to the coast of Maine and know that we’ll be in the vicinity of L.L.Bean in Freeport and then not far from Bar Harbor, we’re a little more lax with the prep because we know that if we forgot something or need to restock, it can likely be acquired along the way. When we are headed to the woods of the Catskills or the ADK, the options for filling in gaps of missing gear are farther between.


The mid-trip stop this time around is near Lake Placid, where we know we can get camping supplies at EMS and restock things like fuel if we are running low. The campground there is less rustic, so we’ll get a refill of power and be able to hose off dirty gear if we need. We don’t love camping in traditional “campgrounds” where there are lots of trailers and generators and everything is closely spaced. But it does help us to get ready to go again in the wilderness.  It will also give us a chance to wash the dog if we need to and an opportunity to wash clothes if everything has gotten muddy or we are running short on clean shirts and sweatshirts. We find that a little civilization and power are handy to re-engage with about once a week when you are traveling like this. And then you can feel ready for another week without the luxury of regular power!


And then you are there. All the planning comes to fruition as you head into Day 2 or Day 3 and realize you have what you need, all you have to do now is camp.